14 Nov 2021

Twelve police isolating after contact with Rotorua Covid-19 cases

4:07 pm on 14 November 2021

Twelve police are self-isolating and waiting for test results after coming into contact with the two people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Rotorua.

Samples awaiting testing for novel coronavirus Covid-19, are pictured at Biogroup Laboratory's lab in west London on January 21, 2021.

Photo: AFP

The police say the contact occured when officers responded to a call yesterday afternoon.

They were told around 8pm of the positive cases.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the two Rotorua cases were detected after a person sought care at Rotorua Hospital for a non-Covid health matter, before returning a positive test result.

"The person was not in contact with any other patients as they were placed in a room set aside for possible Covid-19 cases. The person was managed with appropriate infection prevention protocols. Two healthcare workers involved have also been tested and are now isolating."

The second case is a household contact of the first. The Ministry said there is a link to cases in Auckland.

Two other cases have been reported overnight in the Tararua district, covered by MidCentral DHB.

"Both cases reported feeling unwell on Friday 12 November, sought prompt testing and are now self-isolating at home.

"The cases are linked and the local Public Health Unit is still investigating any links between these cases and other known cases."

The Ministry of Health said any locations of interest will be listed on its site.

"Anyone living in these areas or any recent visitors with Covid-19 related symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested."

The Lakes District Health Board confirmed there's been an increased demand in testing and vaccination.

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said it's not surprising that the virus finally reached Rotorua given it has been in nearby regions for a while.

"We want to be open for Christmas. We are a tourism destination and tourism and hospitality's really been doing it tough and Covid's really made it worse for Rotorua. Please help us, so we can be optimistic about the future."

She said vaccination rate for the Lakes District is at the third to the bottom around the country and urged those who haven't got vaccinated to get a dose.

"Please, keep yourself safe. Your families, and the community safe.

"And the best way to do that is get vaccinated, get vaccinated, get vaccinated."

Three more positive Covid cases were confirmed in Taupō last night.

There were six new cases reported in Taranaki this week. There have also been 225 cases in Waikato and 41 in Northland.

Wastewater tests from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui have also returned positive for Covid-19.

The Ministry will have further updates at 1pm today.